Cursed to Coach

By: Derek Wellock

Over the evolution of Double Edge Fitness, I have had many emotions, from happiness, sadness, anger, depression, and anxiety.  When Jacob and I started Double Edge we had so many ambitions and goals. We loved changing people’s lives through fitness, in our early days though we could not figure out how to do that as a career, it was always kind of a side hustle.  When we were blessed with the opportunity to open Double Edge Fitness, and I discussed with my investors that our vision was to bring the best fitness experience possible to Reno, but also have a strong commitment to making fitness coaching a purposeful and fulfilling career opportunity for people to be proud of.  

These two goals are the premise of Double Edge, and all that came with a very large financial commitment.  A commitment that is supported and believed in and continues to carry Double Edge into the future, but this does not mean it has been sunshine and roses every step of the way.  The Double Edge experience or the “Double Edge Difference” is not a cheap process to carry out, neither financially or emotionally. The weight of both has brought me to my knees many times, asking myself why did I put so much risk on the table, of my investors, but also the emotional strain on myself and my family?  

I very much struggle at times to take a step back and look at what Double Edge has become, often times I only get to deal with the 2-3% of negative people who feel the need to bring down Double Edge, or hurt it in some way for whatever reason.  I am the guy who raised rates, I am the guy who implemented class caps and late fees, I am the guy that is tied to anything that some seem to find negative about the gym. This often builds on me and brings me to the brink of saying fuck it. Whether people choose to believe it or not, all the above or anything I have done or continue to do is done with the premise of how do I make Double Edge a better member experience and how do I provide my staff with fulfilling career opportunities to help people live a healthy and fit life.   I am learning first hand, that when you are on top of your game, there are people in this world who will do whatever they can to bring you down. I have heard about this, but now I have experienced it too.

Up until recently, I coached people daily, either in a group class, one on one, doing introductions etc.  The past 2 years has taken a toll on my family, my own health and happiness, and the stability of business as it continues to grow and thrive.  I have heard that you can only excel at one thing, be great at 3 things and be ok at a lot of things. As I felt the personal failure in all the areas of my life, health, family, and business, I had to take a step back and ask myself what do I want to excel at, what do I want to be great at and what do I want to be good at.

After looking at all aspects of my life as I was in the process of healing myself with owning my health, I started to sort out the answers to these questions.  If I wanted to excel at one thing, I had to be willing to give up everything else. You often hear about this from high-level athletes. They had to put everything in their life on hold to achieve their athletic goals.  Taking this route is no longer a choice for me. I have my family, business, and health to worry about, so focusing on one thing was impossible. As I continued to look at my life and figure out healthy ways to manage my stress and anxiety by means other than alcohol and I had to face some realities.   I was doing too much shit.

I was pseudo managing both gyms,  coaching clients and classes all day.  My first client at 7:00 am and the last one at 6:30 pm.  I had my wife, one child and another one on the way, I had detrimentally injured my back doing the sport I had come to love, Welded, all the while my business was bleeding money like a seal being attacked by a great white shark off the coast of South Africa.   Yep, truth be told at many times I wanted to just hang up the towel and shut it down.

I have found that when it comes to people to people interaction most the time people don’t have any problems jumping on Yelp, Google, Facebook, email, or text to tell you when you are not meeting their expectations.  Let’s be honest when was the last time you had a great customer service experience with any business and you ran home and left them a positive review. Take Costco for instance, because I am sure most anyone who reads this blog will have also shopped at Costco.  Every single time I have been to Costco busy or not busy, I have always received great customer service. They move lines fast, they ask you if you need help, did you get everything, if they notice a damaged package in your cart at checkout, they run, literally run and get you a new one, and did you know the receipt checking person is not there to see if you stole stuff, they are there, more importantly, to see if you were double charged, they have a return policy that is very accommodating, and they always stand behind their products.  Although a discount bulk store, we can all agree it is hard to leave there under a couple of hundred bucks per trip. But did you ever think about saying thank you to the people who make all that happen at Costco? I know I have not till recently as I was navigating my own depression in the workplace. This whole blog popped into my head while at Costco haha.

The biggest form of flattery for a business is the returning customer, but also the customer who refers someone in their personal network.  That is saying, I trust this business with my hard earned money, and you should too for whatever service or products you are buying. It is extremely humbling when someone brings in a friend or family member to Double Edge because they believe in it so much.  You might be asking why am I talking about this? Am I trying to get members, self-pity, or bragging? I know some will think what they will think no matter what I say or do. I am learning to deflect that because I know in my heart what my goal and purpose in life is now and nothing is going to stop me from fulfilling that.

Back to fixing my depression and stress, I had to pick what I want to be really good at.  It was decided by my family and my team that I had to focus on my family, my health, and running my business, by working on the business now not in it.  What did this mean? I had to give up coaching. Although there was huge immediate relief when I gave up coaching because I got so many hours back in the day and no longer felt like I was drowning, but with Double Edge still not making a profit, it was hard to step back on this and fill the coaching with more payroll expense.  Lowered stress in one sense but increased it in another. But what this did was tell me I had to stop whining and start winning. It was time to become the best at my 3 things and see just how far I can take it, not just for myself, but my family, health, and business.

Today you are seeing the effects of my complete ownership and commitment to these 3 areas in my life.  I have more quality time with my family, my health has dramatically improved, the vision and purpose of Double Edge became very clear to me once again.  Although still not financially stable enough to provide a full night sleep, the purpose is once again out of the shadows of stress and self-doubt, and once again in the light of purpose and greatness.  We are going to provide the best fitness experience in Reno and build solid and lasting careers for coaching professionals.

I can say with complete conviction that all the coaches at Double Edge are fully vested in creating the best member experience and fitness product there is.  Not just in Reno but in the country. We all hold ourselves to the highest standards and expectations as a professional. In short, this is not a side hustle.  This is a career path paved by the success each member who calls Double Edge Fitness home. Our success is single handedly based on your success, so please always know we are here to serve you.  Sometimes our quest to serve also comes at a personal cost.

Often times when you are in the leadership position you take all the responsibility of the negative crap and give away all the glory and success.  This couldn’t be truer, but it is very hard at times to handle. I have deeply struggled to handle this as of late when it normally isn’t a problem for me.  Being able to deflect negativity and focus on purpose while giving credit is something I have been pretty good at in my life. Not tooting my horn, just the way I was built I guess.   To be honest, with not drinking I have really had to take all stressors that come at me and face them head on, there is no option if I am going to win at my 3 things. As I was praying and discussing this with my friend Jesus (the place I go for spiritual guidance) I came to realize one thing.  I am not handling the negative because I am no longer on the front lines of coaching seeing all the positive that takes place everyday at Double Edge. This was a huge light bulb moment for me.

From time management and responsibility standpoint, I had to give something up, coaching was the only thing that made sense.  But what I didn’t anticipate was when I no longer was directly hearing about and being a part of the numerous lives changed daily at Double Edge, I did not recognize that it was an addictive drug of positivity that washed away any and all negativity and or stressors.  Being able to see our members’ positive response to our product was a cure to any and all daily stress. This is when I discovered I am cursed to coach.

Fast forward to today.  I am writing this blog more for myself.  When words flow from my fingers naturally, it is very therapeutic for me, so sorry for the length but this has become a therapy session today.  If you quit reading, I totally understand, but for those who are powering on with me, I want to share some new things I have been working on.

You might have seen me doing a lot of push-ups the last month.  I started this to prove to myself that I can do something every single day, no matter where I am to improve a weakness.  Well, it worked as I completed 10,000 push in 28 days, many pressing movement weaknesses are no longer weaknesses. I posted my progress, not for you or to brag on social media.  It was 100% used as an accountability tool for me to get my push-ups in. After a couple of days, if I didn’t post I know there would be at least one person out there know I didn’t complete my goal and I my mind I would lose credibility.  Lots of other things happened during this challenge.

With posting on social media and my previous blog about The Fake News that lives inside you, I realized that people actually care and I still have the capacity as a coach to “Educate, Inspire, and Entertain” These are the coaching principles of Double Edge.  I realized I did not need to be on the floor, to fulfill my curse to coach need inside of me.

The last 2 years I have come to despise social media.  I even wrote a blog on how it sucks. Although many of the principles in my old blog are still true today.   People spend too much time on social media, and social media can and is a place chronically infected with negative, fake, degrading crap, particularly if you don’t have any focused and purposeful intentions with using it.  It is often used as a place to escape and or hide. But now I am seeing it as a tool to coach, to inspire, to educate, and to entertain people to live a better and healthier life. This is why all of a sudden you are seeing me more active on social media.

With that, I want to make sure that as one of your coaches and leaders at Double Edge the content I create on social media, the Reps of Discipline podcast, Facebook lives, blogs etc are in line with what you all want to engage in and be educated about, inspire you, and entertains you.  I am going to strive to be vulnerable and transparent, I want to further share my knowledge and continue to learn the best possible ways to live a healthy life so I can help you do the same. I want you to find some level of entertainment in all that. I am in the process of creating a structure to my social media so it fits this purpose and you can easily find what you are interested in.

My goal is to make sure I am posting consistent and valuable content.  If it has a positive impact on a single person that will be enough. Knowing what you want to see will help guide me on what to invest my time in.  I want my social media to be an extension of the Double Edge Difference that happens in group class every day.

Other places I am still coaching is through True Coach, programming Welded Rx+ and doing Personal Design Programming for a handful of clients.  I cherish these coaching relationships as they allow me to help people but I still have time to focus on my 3 purposes. You will also be seeing me investing more time into coaching my staff helping them thrive, so they can intern help you thrive.  I now realize that through their gifted coaching talents, Double Edge can help and do so much more when I put my energy into them and their success. Although I am not currently coaching on the floor, I can now see the purpose of coaching and leading behind the scenes.  

I am naturally a creature of habit and routine,  I enjoy having the same and repeating schedule every day.  I also like set structure for my own fitness time. But I am going to make an effort to evolve it and get around to all the Double Edge classes and participate with everyone, in hopes to learn more about what drives you and how we can better serve you.  Our core focus is to provide you with absolute best class experience possible, and I am going to be doing everything in my power to see that evolution to excellence takes place.

As always.  I am here to serve you.  It is my purpose, and I want every member of Double Edge to always feel comfortable reaching out to me about anything health and fitness related.   I am always happy to sit down with any member and discuss how we can better serve and help you become the best version of yourself. Find me on Instagram @derekwellock and Facebook by searching Derek Wellock, and always feel free to email me Derek@doubleedgefitness at any time to set up a time to meet about anything health, fitness and business related.